Here is the next part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer): Gum Flat.
Have you seen the bush by moonlight, from the train, go running by? Blackened log and stump and sapling, ghostly trees all dead and dry; Here a patch of glassy water; there a glimpse of mystic sky? Have you heard the still voice calling — yet so warm, and yet so cold: “I’m the Mother-Bush that bore you! Come to me when you are old”?
Did you see the Bush below you sweeping darkly to the Range, All unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange! While you thought in softened anger of the things that did estrange? (Did you hear the Bush a‑calling, when your heart was young and bold: “I’m the Mother-Bush that nursed you; come to me when you are old”?)
In the cutting or the tunnel, out of sight of stock or shed, Did you hear the grey Bush calling from the pine-ridge overhead: “You have seen the seas and cities — all is cold to you, or dead — All seems done and all seems told, but the grey-light turns to gold! I’m the Mother-Bush that loves you — come to me now you are old”?
(On The Night Train by Henry Lawson)
On the way to Gum Flat:
Merlyn read the Henry Lawson poem which was on the wall of the night train to Gum Flat. Written in 1922, the year of Lawson’s passing, it was his last poem. She looked out the dark window at the even darker bush running by and felt a profound sense of belonging and also a profound sense of separation – Have you heard the still voice calling — yet so warm, and yet so cold. It was the same land that Lawson saw, wrote about, and loved. This land doesn’t really change. It is too vast, ancient, detached, motherly. All unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange.
Here is the next part of Purnima (Book 7 of Waldmeer)
Urgent and Confidential
It was late morning before there was enough sun, on this biting mid-June morning, for Merlyn to sit outside her small rented flat. She sat there doing nothing, thinking nothing, staring at the sea below. This spot was the only place, at her home, where she could see the sea. It was worth sitting in the cold – coat, beanie, scarf, gloves. Anyway, cold or not, being outside always seems to change our perspective. It changes things that can best do with a change. The wind dismantles the heaviness, the light reorients the mind, the greenness invigorates hope, and the entire majestic dynamic of nature reminds us of our insignificance and also of our absolute significance.
Eventually, Merlyn checked her emails and read one from Prana Community marked Urgent and Confidential.
The bus driver announced that there would be a half hour stop at Wurt Wurt Koort to change a tyre. The road from Waldmeer to Darnall ran through the hills and forests of the Leleks. At the highest point was the little town of Wurt Wurt Koort. From the Wurt Wurt Koort Town Hall, if one looked further inland, one could see Darnall in the distance. In the other direction, one could just make out the sea. Waldmeer lay beside it.
At one time, Wurt Wurt Koort was a thriving, respectable hill-town, thus the presence of a rather pretentious town hall. However, the death of a local child changed all that and now it was surviving, but barely. Further, it was rumoured to be run by witches. It was said that they were the only ones who remained. They weren’t bad witches. In fact, a number of them had businesses and were visited, with some success, for healing, readings, and other mysterious type activities. There was a leadership group or coven of thirteen. They were all women, although, these days, they said that they were gender-neutral. They ranged from fifty to positively ancient. Their headquarters was the local cafe, the Wurt Wurt Koort Tearooms, which was next to the town hall.